The largest single class fleet of LRVs in the UK is set to get even bigger with the announcement that Transport for Greater Manchester has been awarded £50 million for transport investment from the Local Growth Fund (LGF). As part of this funding an extra 12 M5000s will be ordered from Bombardier bringing to the total fleet size to 116.
The £50 million funding announced by Nick Clegg during a visit to the Metrolink Trafford Depot is the first part of a longer-term deal which will result in more than £350 million invested in 12 major transport schemes between 2015/16 and 2020/21. Greater Manchester is already set to receive £110 million of Local Transport Block money (agreed in December 2013) and under this latest deal will also receive an additional £154 million of LGF money between 2016/17 and 2020/21. The funding also unlocks a further £37 million of local match-funding over the same period.
The Manchester Metrolink improvements to be funded by this cash are just a small part of the package but will see:
* 12 additional LRVs (3 for MediaCityUK-Piccadilly, 6 for East Didsbury-Shaw & Crompton, 2 for doubles on the Airport line and 1 for resilience)
* installation of a new wheel lathe at Trafford
* two new substations in the Brooklands and Whitefield areas
* a turnback at Sale to improve the resilience of the network.
Other projects being funded include numerous road schemes, improved facilities at Salford Central Railway Station, transport interchange improvements across the area and the Bolton-Salford-Manchester Bus Rapid Priority scheme.